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Classroom and Lab Activities for Teaching about Energy


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Analysis of trends in global oil reserves, production, and consumption part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
An exercise to analyze trends in global oil reserves, production, and consumption.

The Costs of Your Commute: Your Money, Your Time, and the Earth part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
This activity has students investigate their own cost, CO2 output, and time for commuting. They then compare their commute to an environmentally conscious alternative by using comparable metrics.

Should I Unplug? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
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What is the True Cost of Burning Coal? part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This activity is a framework for general chemistry students to explore the costs, ethics and alternatives to coal-fired electricity.

Integrating Sustainability Concepts into First Quarter General Chemistry part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
The goal of this project is to insert sustainability concepts and issues into the general chemistry curriculum. Specifically, I focus on carbon as the example to be considered throughout the quarter.

Back of the Envelope Calculations: Renewable Energy part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This is an example of a back of the envelope calculation of the payback period for a renewable energy installation.

Sustainability, Nuclear Waste, and the Hanford Site part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
An introduction to the Hanford Site in Washington, including its history, geology, and hydrology, and examines the sustainability issues associated with it.

Using Lab Measurements to Determine the Feasibility of a Photovoltaic Panel part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Using Lab Measurements to determine the power output of a solar module and the economic feasibility of photovoltaic panels

Offshore wind or offshore oil? part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
An introductory environmental science project tasking students with comparing offshore oil and wind power development.

Action to Enhance Sustainability part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This assignment is a 10-hour, out-of-class project where each student designs and carries out an action plan to enhance sustainability. Students select from a large suite of alternative actions, most of which can be quantified for reductions in CO2 and energy consumption, as well as in dollar savings.

Students' Evaluation of Competing Alternative Energy Options for a Sustainability Assessment part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
A group exercise in trying to understand the many attributes that contribute to an overall assessment of sustainability for alternative energy projects.

Habitat for Humanity Build Day part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Teaching sustainability through Habitat for Humanity.

A mock legislative debate to enhance and integrate student understanding of climate change science, policy, economics and ethics part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This activity utilizes publicly available, proposed national legislation to provide a platform for student inquiry into the intersection of climate science, environmental economics and sustainable public policy.

An Experiential Pedagogy for Sustainability Ethics: The Externalities Game part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
The Externalities Game is a non-cooperative game that teaches students about the concept of environmental externalities and allows them to directly experience the moral dimensions of collective action problems. It ...

Swimming Upstream: Relating Trapped Energy in Organic Hydrogenations to Use of Reduced Hydrocarbons as Energy Sources part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
An activity designed to inform the student of the potential and pitfalls of storing energy by the generation of reduced organic molecules, particularly as pertains to the generation of ethanol from molecules of a greater oxidation state and the ultimate fate of oxidized carbon when the energy potential is realized. As a part of a discussion of sustainability issues, the activity will be part of a discussion of global energy generation and use and couched in a form similar to the US energy flow trends.

Building Sustainable Communities, But What Kind? part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This assignment, depending on the level and depth of implementation, seeks to challenge students by asking them to look beyond "greenwashed" advertisements and buzzwords to grapple with what sustainability means, whether it can be achieved, and what kinds of questions communities must confront in a search for sustainability.

Biking vs Driving part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
How much difference would biking to work one day per week make?

Economics of installing Solar PV panels: is it worth it to the individual? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
We show that it is economical for an individual to install solar photovoltaic panels in Denver, Colorado; and this is a sustainable strategy for society at large.

Learning Sustainability with Sim City part of SISL:Activities
Sim City is a computer game that has the player design a city. They become the mayor. While designing the city from ground, they can choose sustainaiblity energy options such as wind farms, geothermal, and solar. The game includes greening options and pollution factors. Teachers in a variety of disciplines can utilize this to bring their core course concepts to life.

Modeling: (1) Revenue Neutral Carbon Taxes; (2) Accelerated atmospheric C02 concentrations part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Design a revenue neutral carbon tax and a plan for implementation; together with a model for what happens if we do not institute such a tax-system.



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